EPILOGUE—A FOREVER OF FELLATIO (EPOV)
A/N—I know this was a long way in coming. My accident and recovery seemed to suck out the funny from me. And while it was important to give you a glimpse into Bella's and Edward's future, I knew you wanted to see what the rest of that rascals that make up the Cullen clan were up to. I've tried to give all that in one short epilogue.
As I have said before, I treated this story as a chance to address some of those little plot twists in the Twilight series that kinda drove me crazy. Another one was Bella's easy as pie change and newborn period.
So, I hope this gives you a little peek into things, including Bella's newborn year (or thereabouts) and leaves you satisfied. Note, a lot of the epilogue will be told through flashbacks. I am not always a big fan of flashbacks but there were a lot of years to cover.
THANKS TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU WHO READ, REVIEWED, AND/OR RECOMMENDED. I enjoyed the experience so much.
Keep a look out. I think I will be posting something new soon. I posted a one shot on Twiwrite(dot)net for the Afraid of the Dark Contest that I may be continuing. It's something different.
I didn't think I would be back in Forks so soon. It had been seventeen short years since we left.
As I sit in wait in the woods along the highway stretching from Forks to La Push, I think about the reason I am here.
Charles Rupert Swan, Jr. was born seventeen years ago in the early hours of August eleventh. I hadn't known Charlie's middle name before he proudly announced to us all in the waiting area that same morning that his son would be named after his father: Rupert. I immediately understood why Charlie never mentioned it before. I instantly felt sympathetic for his son. And this coming from a guy with an old fashion name like Edward! That poor kid.
But he's also a lucky kid; and fortunate Alice can see the future and saw what is about to happen. What is even more fortuitous is that I happen to be close by in Vancouver. I am arranging for the delivery of needed medicines to outer regions of Russia, where Bella and I are living. After Alice's frantic call, I was able to run here and make it in time with mere minutes to spare.
Just as Alice predicted, I make out the sounds of an old truck coming down the road just as I start to hear two sets of thoughts and voices.
"That's it baby, just a little more. God, it feels so good when you touch my dick."
I cringe when I hear his words. It would seem Charlie Jr. is not the little innocent boy I had seen the last time Alice had a vision of him. In that vision he was ten years old and had been fishing with his father.
Alice was not specific in her call as to the reason for Charlie Jr. losing control of his vehicle but I think I have figured it out. I shake my head at his stupid, teenage antics. Engaging in distracting sexual contact with his girlfriend while he operates a vehicle down a dark, winding road hardly reflects maturity.
Headlights shine around the bend I am waiting at, so I move into position.
"Oh God, I'm about to come! Don't stop Anna!"
And then it happens. The vehicle comes around the corner, and Charlie Jr. turns too sharply. I move quick, too quick to be seen. I gently grab the rear bumper and straighten the truck so it does not fishtail. I stand to the side of the road, watching the truck continue on, the occupants oblivious to what has just happened, and how close they came to disaster.
I call Alice.
"Edward, I just had a vision of Charlie Jr. arriving home. He'll be late and get in trouble with Charlie but he arrives safely. Thank you!"
"You know there's no need to thank me. You're sure Bella doesn't know anything, right?"
"No, I haven't said a word," Alice replies.
"Good. I'm heading home now."
I am running home at full vampire speed. I take a path through the wilderness of Alaska on my way to our home in Northeastern Russia. I only stop for a quick, but much needed hunt. Just as dawn is breaking, I am greeted by my beautiful wife as I make my way into our home on the outskirts of a remote village.
"Edward!" She breathes as she launches into my arms, wrapping her beautiful, strong legs around my waist.
Ninety seven minutes later, Bella is lying in my arms, satisfied…for the moment, anyway. I hold her as we lie there in our bed, both lost in our thoughts when I realize something. Today is September tenth; I changed Bella seventeen years ago today.
Memories from the last seventeen years flash through my mind…
Biting Bella is the first vivid memory that comes to mind. That moment was the most exciting-and scariest-of my life. I had never sired anyone. Despite several hours of instruction from Carlisle, I had been so nervous.
But I did it.
The next thirty-three hours were….tense. While everything went as I expected, I did not take a single breath during that entire time. Not until Bella's heart took its last beat, and she opened her eyes.
That first year after her change had been trying, to say the least. I smile as I remember our first anniversary. I had wanted to do something special; after all, you only have one first wedding anniversary. It may have been sentimental of me, but I wanted Bella and I to enjoy the usual first anniversary traditions. I secured my family's promise to leave us for the night and set up a table, covered in nothing but tea light candles and the top tier of our wedding cake, which Alice had thoughtfully saved and frozen. I even tuned my piano for the occasion. I had finally completed a song I promised myself I would write a few years earlier entitled: Completeness. It was inspired by a momentous date Bella and I had shared on a cruise along Puget Sound. The composition was to be my anniversary gift to Bella.
First, she berated me for thawing out a cake and "stinking up the house with that God awful smell." Then she questioned my intelligence for going through so much trouble to produce something neither of us could eat.
I tried to salvage the evening by playing her gift. Instead, she interrupted me to let me know- if I wanted to actually do something useful for her, I could stop writing "pansy-assed love songs," and instead helping her find something decent to drink.
I will admit: that comment stung a bit.
But I understood her discomfort. Her thirst had been quite unquenchable, and she had already wiped out the small population of the bigger, and tastier predators we had brought to the island. She was not as pleased with the left over deer and other small mammals. We were working on bringing some additional predators to the island, but newborns are not known for their patience. They are much more about instant gratification; Bella was no exception to the rule . That is why I could easily excuse her lack of appreciation for the song I had written. Newborns are not typically interested in the arts, either.
Another typical newborn trait is the unbelievably quick and frequent mood changes. I had just closed the lid to the piano keys, resigned to ending the disastrous evening early, when she attacked me. But attacked me in a good way. While my piano did not survive, I did get to enjoy hours of heated lovemaking-and fellatio . It was the first time she had given me fellatio since her change. The feel of her strong teeth and unbelievably strong suction made her earlier bitchiness completely forgivable.
I smile at the memory and hug Bella closer to me as I think about how that anniversary did not go as planned, but still turned out perfect. We had started our own anniversary tradition and every anniversary since has ended the same way: with fellatio.
After thirteen months, we tested Bella's control by making trips into the mainland of Ecuador. We started out by visiting small villages, which were less crowded and had plenty of fresh air. Bella struggled at first but mastered her urges in a short time. We were all so proud of her.
Sixteen short months after being changed, we celebrated the New Year in Rio. I silently groan as I remember how wonderful and hellacious that trip ended up being for me.
It was Bella's first venture into such a big social setting with so many humans in her new vampire form. She had always been beautiful, but the change enhanced that beauty making her unbelievably sexy. While I had been preparing to handle any situation that might test Bella's control of her thirst, I forgot to prepare my own control to deal with the thoughts of the male population when they saw my Bella for the first time. The vulgar fantasies were almost more than I could take.
I wanted to leave, but Bella was enjoying herself, dancing in the streets with our family members and the celebrating natives. One very arrogant- but stupid male had worked up enough nerve to approach Bella while she danced in the streets with my sisters. I saw his intention in his thoughts and growled.
Why do stupid human men always want to grab Bella's ass? It's as if they all have a death wish.
I moved to stop him and perhaps to maim him just a bit as a reminder not to touch my wife when Carlisle's grip stopped me.
She doesn't need your assistance Edward. Let her handle this. You have to trust her, son.
Of course Bella didn't physically need me to stop the planned groping. But it was hard to stand by and watch the events unfold. And I probably would have interfered if it had not been for Carlisle restraining me.
Bella grabbed the man's hand when he made his indecent move. She didn't regulate her strength so well, and he ended up with a broken wrist. Bella was upset with herself at first. However, when I consoled her and whispered to her how sexy I found it to watch her defend herself so masterfully, she quickly led me to a dark alley for an intense session of lovemaking-and fellatio.
We spent a total of twelve years in South America, moving around frequently. Bella and I did some tangent work with the Lawyers Without Borders organization and offered assistance to the poor and repressed. We helped them with making applications for government assistance, loans to start businesses, visas for those who had family in the States that they wanted to join, and any other legal problem we were able to address.
Bella kept in touch with her parents and brother, primarily through email. Once he was of school age, Charlie Jr. exchanged emails with Bella weekly. She would share our work related adventures in South America, while he shared what life was like growing up in Forks. Needless to say, not much seemed to change in small towns in Washington. Most of his emails were stories about fishing or visiting La Push. Bella concluded she hadn't missed out on much by being raised in Arizona.
After celebrating our Thirteenth Anniversary, we moved to East Russia. It was Bella's idea. The Denali sisters had come to visit us just a few months prior and had shared with Bella some of the hardships experienced by the residents of outer Russia. We had been talking about moving at that point. Even though we moved around the continent frequently, we had lingered long enough and were taking too much of a risk of being recognized.
Bella and I moved first, setting up a home in a remote area about twenty-five miles from the nearest village. We built the house ourselves and to Esme's specifications, of course. Even with our vampire speed and abilities, it took us seven months to complete the job. We were so remote that we had to install our own cell tower in order to have reception or internet service. Those weeks were precious as Bella and I had never been completely alone for such a long period of time. We worked and loved leisurely. We discussed our plans and what we hoped to accomplish for the residents of East Russia. Bella laughed when she realized she was now actually thirty-seven years old. "That's so old!" she had exclaimed. "Try being 119," I had told her in response.
Our family ended up giving us another three months alone, even after the new home was complete. It was the largest we ever had and resembled more of a compound. It was four separate, but interlocked residences, so couples could have some modicum of privacy.
It was Thanksgiving when the family rejoined us. As we sat around the dinner table, we didn't eat like human families, but we did decide to share what we were most thankful for that year.
Bella went first and proceeded to give an emotional speech.
"First, thank you for giving Edward and me this time alone. It has been wonderful, but I didn't realize until now how much I missed all of you. Edward once promised he would give me a family. It may not be a family in the traditional sense of children and parenthood, but a family, nonetheless. And you know what? He did. Of all the gifts he has ever given me and that I will ever receive, I'm most thankful for my family."
I was nearly speechless at her moving speech. She sat back down beside me and I squeezed her hand. When Carlisle motioned it was my turn, I kept is simply and said, "I second everything that Bella just said."
My family's thoughts were as ever, predictable.
Rosalie: That's the quickest speech the know-it-all has ever made.
Emmett: Hmmm, I would have thought it was Bella's blowjobs he was most thankful for.
Jasper: I'm surprised he didn't say fellatio.
Alice: He just wants to hurry this reunion along, so he and Bella can go back to doing it like rabbits.
Esme: I'm surprised he didn't say fellatio.
Carlisle: I'm surprised he didn't say fellatio.
Esme exclaimed how thankful she was to be in such a beautiful, new home, surrounded by her husband and children. "And a special thanks to Bella and Edward for building us a home, in which I have no doubt, we will spend many happy years." I looked at Bella and knew she would be crying if she could still shed tears.
Carlisle expressed his thanks for having such a wonderful wife and children, all of whom had so many wonderful gifts and talents and chose to share them with the world. I don't know why he was so surprised at us. We had him as a role model and mentor, after all.
Jasper gave thanks for what he was most thankful for every year: finding Alice.
Alice gave thanks for the internet since shopping would not be any easy feat here. After our laughing died down, she added, "And for Jasper, my soulmate."
Rosalie gave thanks for the beautiful new Mercedes sitting in the driveway—a present from Emmett.
Emmett gave thanks that the recent world-wide recession was passing as it had been tough on his business interests.
I smile as my wondering thoughts remember how Emmett had faired during that recession, when we all had still been in South America together. Apparently, adult sex toys are not considered a necessity by most people during tough economic times. Sales for Emmett's business had plummeted in the US and Europe during a five year recession. He almost had to shut his doors at one point. Those had been some dark days in the Cullen household. Emmett had been beyond depressed. Seeing someone like Emmett depressed and sullen is not a pretty sight. It was my wife who actually saved his business.
Bella was frugal by nature; she always had been. She was the only one of the eight of us that had any memories of being frugal. The rest of us had lived with ease and excess for so long, we had no real experience with how to save and cut corners . Bella, trying to cheer a despondent Emmett, had looked over some cost and revenue reports he held in his hands as he murmured despondently. It was something about all great empires have to coming to an end sometime.
Bella took immediate notice to excessive spending and unnecessary costs. She came up with a plan that included cutting the unnecessary costs and offering a line of less expensive products.
I remember all those nights he and Bella stayed up all night discussing and debating on so many topics:
Quality but cheaper vibrators.
Tasteful but less ornate lingerie and edible underwear.
Butt plugs that were made with a titanium hybrid material, less costly than pure titanium.
The list of changes and improvements was quite long.
The only product Emmett refused to compromise on was the signature vibrator named after him. Bella had told him that given the current economic situation, it was not a good idea to market such an expensive model. "I know what you are saying, Bella, but as long as that fake dick carries my name, it will only be made from the best, and by the best." Even a lawyer as talented as Bella couldn't argue with logic like that.
While I sometimes cringed at the candid discussions between my brother and my wife about sex toys, I had to admit their plan was genius. It was not long before his business was breaking even again. The last quarter before that Thanksgiving, he posted a small profit for the first time in five years. Emmett was ecstatic and his excitement carried over to the move to Russia.
The entire family was unusually excited when we first moved to Russia. It was the first time I could remember us moving where there had been no weariness at starting over again. This time we were all excited about the possibilities being offered.
Our first four years in Russia passed in a blur. There was so much to do. Carlisle and I focused primarily on the medical needs of the surrounding areas. Bella spent the time setting up a small law practice to assist the poor. Alice and Esme helped at Bella's offices, while Jasper and Rosalie helped Emmett with running his sex toy empire. All and all, the Cullen clan was happy, whole, and at peace.
"Edward?" Bella's husky voice brings me back from my trip down memory lane.
"Do you know what I'm thinking?"
I snort. "You have no idea how much I wish the answer to that question was yes- but alas no, I don't know what you are thinking. I'm afraid you will just have to tell me."
She smiles and raises her head, her golden eyes holding my gaze.
"I think I would like to go to Halloween Horror Nights again. Do you think they still do that?"
I laugh and kiss her forehead. "I have no idea, but I will check for you."
"Do you remember our first trip to Halloween Horror Nights?" she asks shyly as she traces a finger along my chest.
"I'm presuming that's rhetorical. You know I could never forget that night." Or any night spent with Bella for that matter, I add silently.
She giggles, "The night you lost your virginity."
"The night I discovered that heaven existed right here on earth," I correct.
"Do you think I will find the roller coasters just as thrilling?" she asks after a few moments of silence.
"I'm sure they have upgraded the rides over the years, but I doubt they will have the same effect they had on you as a human. Adrenaline and endorphin rushes are what made the rides so thrilling for you. That's just not physically possible anymore."
"Hmm…," she responds, seemingly deep in thought.
"I don't know if I ever told you, but I loved that you rented out Universal Studios and the Disneyworld theme parks during the nights of our honeymoon. I cringe when I think how many villages we could have fed with the money it cost, but it was such a thoughtful and romantic thing to do. I felt so young and carefree with you." Her voice has taken on a wistful quality.
"Do you not feel young and carefree now," I asked in slight concern.
"I feel perfect. I'm just grateful that I got to have so many human experiences with you. I now understand why you always insisted on me experiencing as much as possible back then. Everything is so different as a vampire."
"So I'm forgiven for tricking you into going to Junior Prom, then?" I ask, teasing her.
"You were forgiven the moment you took me into your arms and lifted me on your feet so we could dance."
"Oh, Bella," I murmur as I pull her to me for a deep and searing kiss.
Bella pulls back after sixty-one seconds, leaving me panting for more.
"You know roller coasters may never be the same, and I can never walk down a public street with you in daylight again, but there are definitely some things that are much better as a vampire than a human," she murmurs, with her lips hovering just above mine.
I smile and thread my left hand in her hair with the intention to bring her lips to mine again. Just before we kiss I whisper, "Oh definitely," and turn us over so that I am hovering over her to kiss her again. There is no restraint, no conscious thought about being careful with my teeth, or swallowing down venom. There is only Bella. My Bella, my love, my mate, my wife, my partner, my soulmate. My everything.
Her nipples are even more sensitive since her change. Damn change repaired her piercings though. I really hated that.
I suckle her heaving breasts for what seems like hours, getting lost in the heady mix of her moans and the smell of her increasing arousal.
I kiss down her torso and beautiful tummy, intent on finding her honeypot. Bella's fingers strongly tug at my hair and I lift up, searching her eyes in question. She's panting. "I can't wait any longer. I need you inside me…now!"
I smile and move quickly. Poised at her entrance, I fix my gaze upon hers and whisper "I love you. Forever," as I push inside to her warmth.
Dear holy mother. How is it possible that our lovemaking gets more intense each time? How is it that despite my perfect memory, the feeling of slipping into her always rocks my body with shock and overwhelming sensation?
"Bella," I groan as I fight to find a steady rhythm and continue to kiss her breasts. Before long I feel her heels pressing deliciously into my ass. She wants me to move faster and harder. It's my husbandly duty to make sure her every desire is met and it's a duty I happily fulfill.
She meets my every thrust with her hard, perfect body. Our grunts and groans fill the bedroom as we move faster and faster, both seeking that perfect pinnacle of release and fulfillment.
Before I lose all control, I lean back and take her hands that have been frantically pulling at my hair, into one of my own hands. Her eyes widen in slight surprise, and then glaze over in heady lust as she realizes what I am going to do. I don't do this often, despite Bella's requests. It's not something I was comfortable with for a long time, but I have learned to enjoy it when the mood hits.
I pull her arms above her head, securing them in my hand. She bucks against my hold, but I am stronger. "Oh God," she moans breathlessly, as I slow my movements until I am resting inside of her, perfectly still. She attempts to buck her hips wanting more friction and her release. I use my other free hand to hold her at her left hip, effectively securing her to the bed.
"Uh, uh, uh," I chastise. "I want to hear you say it first."
"Edward," she groans in complaint and again tries to break my hold. I tighten my grip, knowing she loves it despite her protests. What can I say? My Bella is still quite the kinky girl. That's something that has not changed.
"Just fuck me," she pleads, trying again to buck her hips and force me to move inside of her. While my painfully erect cock is begging me for to do just that, I remain still, knowing how much she enjoys this game.
"Say it," I order, leaning down to lightly nip her bottom lip.
After a few more seconds of struggling, Bella stops her protest and huffs in frustration. "Okay. If I say it, will you fuck me?"
"Like my life depends on it," I answer immediately.
"Okay. You have a big cock," she says petulantly.
I raise my eyebrow at her. She knows that's not all of it.
"Okay! Edward Cullen is my husband, and he has the biggest cock in the entire world!" she shouts. I can't help but smile when I see her eyes light up with anticipation as I start to move again.
"Good girl," I murmur. I release her hip and resume thrusting, using all of my vampire speed and power to bring us both to intense climax. It is a good thing I keep a hold on her hands. I am rather certain she would pull my hair out if her loud keening and spastic arching is any indication of just how much control she loses in the throes of her orgasm. She does manage to sink her teeth into my bicep, which causes me to hiss in a mixture of pleasure and pain that has me begging for mercy as I tumble over the edge.
Hours later, the morning sun is up, but we are still lazing in our bed. It's really just a set of mattresses as we gave up trying to find a frame strong enough to withstand our…activities, a long time ago.
"I forgot to ask. Did you find all the medical supplies you needed?" she asks me. She is lying across my chest reading a book while I play with her hair and occasionally grope her behind.
"Hmm," I respond affirmatively. "I need to tell you something," I add, remembering I have not yet told her about Charlie Jr. and my rescue efforts.
My tone gives away that I have something important to say. "What?" she asks, putting her book down and turning until she is facing me, propping her head on my bent knees.
"Don't be angry. I didn't want Alice to tell you because there is nothing you could do. You would have worried for nothing."
"What is it, Edward?" As vampires, we have no real worries about each other's safety. She knows immediately it must have something to do with Charlie, Renee or Charlie Jr.
"Alice had a vision of Charlie Jr. last night while I was in Vancouver. He was driving and was distracted and almost crashed his truck."
She tenses and her eyes flood with venom. "Calm down, Bella" I say soothingly. "I made it there in time and diverted the accident. Nothing happened, I promise." I bring her in my arms, and rub her back in comfort.
"Oh God! What if something had happened to him?" She says in anguish.
"Bella, I don't mean to be insensitive, but something will happen to him one day; to all of the humans you know. I don't say this to upset you, I just want you to be prepared."
She nods her head as it still rests on my shoulder. "I know," she whispers. "But at seventeen? That would've been such a tragedy." The irony is not lost on me. I know very well what a tragedy it is to lose your human life at just seventeen years of age.
I kiss her hair. "I know, love. Fortunately, Alice saw and I was there."
After several long quiet moments of me simply holding her, she whispers, "Do you think we should move back? I know we can't go back to Forks or Seattle, but maybe somewhere near there so we can be close if something else were to happen?"
I pull back and carefully stroke back the strands of hair that have fallen forward across her face. "We talked about this before. You said you wanted to let them live out their human lives without interference from us."
"I know that Edward, but what about their safety? I mean who's going to be there the next time Alice has a vision and its Renee falling down the stairs or Charlie having a heart attack? We may be too far away and-"
"Shhh," I whisper, interrupting her rambling. "Bella, you know who you sound like? Me. This was exactly how I thought of things before I left you. I know what it's like to be obsessed with keeping the humans you love safe, but forgetting that to be human means to be fragile, and to be susceptible to death. I know you don't want to lose them, but sweetheart, it is inevitable. We can only delay the timing, not the end result.
"Don't make the same mistake I made. You will drive yourself mad trying to cheat death, staying one step ahead of a fate that you can't outrun forever. It drove me so crazy I left you- cutting out my own heart and soul in the process."
I narrow my eyes, knowing my words are harsh, but they have to be said.
"You have to accept it. As long as they are human, they will perish. So, unless you have some plans to change them that I am unaware of, I am afraid inserting ourselves into their lives, even in the outskirts of their lives, is out of the question."
She nods, acknowledging my words, and then slowly pulls away. I watch Bella get up and make her way to our adjoining bathroom where I soon hear her taking a shower.
I sigh, knowing we have been living in a bubble. While Bella was changed at a relatively young age, there are people in her life she loves deeply and formed attachments to, which were not simply broken because she had been changed; her parents, step-parents, and brother, especially. While she has managed to live without seeing them, she still has not prepared herself for the inevitability of them all leaving this world. Charlie junior's near miss has brought that front and center to her mind.
Over the next few days, we return to our routine. Bella immerses herself in her work as do the rest of us. It is so good to stay busy and to feel needed. This life is much more enjoyable than one spent in high school. Bella refuses to even contemplate ever going to high school again, although she has indicated she would consider one day doing another college stint with me by her side.
Despite the routine, I know something is off with Bella. Her smile is not as big, her laugh is not as joyful, and her eyes are not as bright. She is thinking about her family—her human family.
"Do you regret it?" I finally ask her one night.
She looks up from her perusal of a visa application at her desk, to look at me where I stand in the doorway to our bathroom having just got out of the shower.
"Me changing you; do you now regret it?" I ask, steeling myself for the answer. Until recently, I was certain her answer would be no. We have enjoyed our life together, and she has always spoken in terms of gratitude and fulfillment when speaking of being changed into one of us. But I know my wife. She has not been completely happy since my return from the trip eight days ago.
She shakes her head and firmly states, "Never."
I exhale in relief.
She puts down the application and turns completely toward me. "I guess I'm just doing some pre-emptive mourning. I realize what you said the other night is true. I do need to prepare myself. I keep trying to imagine the world without….them…in it. It makes me sad, Edward. Very sad." She bows her head and studies her hands that are clasped in her lap. I move at lightning speed, to kneel down in front of her and clasp her hands with my own. "I know, sweetheart. What can I do?"
She looks up at me and gives me a weak smile. "Nothing, really. Just…just give me some time?" she asks hopefully.
I smile back. "Well, you're in luck. Time is something I have an abundance of, love. Take all the time you need."
We embrace, whispering our love for us each other.
As the saying goes, time marches on. No one knows the truth of that statement more than a vampire. Over the next couple of months I watch Bella mourn the loss of her human family in her own way. She starts to cut back on the number of emails she sends to her family, slowly breaking away from them. I have to fight every protective instinct I have and let her find her way. I can't do this for her. I can't do the suffering for her. It is the only way she can come to terms with the inevitable.
But as our eighteenth anniversary approaches, I see Bella's smile widen and her eyes brighten once again. We have decided to take a trip. After we exchange gifts with the family on Christmas morn, we will be heading to a month long trip to the United Kingdom. We plan to thoroughly tour England, Ireland and Wales. It's something that Bella has indicated she has wanted to do before and it seems like a perfect time to do it. The weather will be cold and gloomy. The temperature will not make any difference to us, but the perpetual cloud cover will ensure us plenty of time to explore.
Just one week into our trip, New Years falls upon us. We are avoiding the busiest parts of London and find ourselves on the outskirts, strolling along the Thames.
"Edward," Bella says after we have walked in comfortable silence for nearly half-an-hour.
"Yes, my love?"
"Thank you. I know I have been in a funk for the last few months. I think I'm coming to terms with everything now. But I couldn't have done it without you."
I pause in my steps and she stops as well. I shake my head gently. "I didn't do anything, Bella."
"That's just it. You didn't over react. You didn't insist on making things better. You let me find my own way. Thank you for that."
I smile. "I guess there was a time that would have been near impossible for me. I'm not saying it's easy to see you hurting and not do anything but I have come to understand that sometimes doing nothing but standing by the one you love is the best thing you can do."
We resume our stroll, but after a few moments Bella asks a strange question.
"Do you regret it?"
I can't help but notice her question mirrors my own from months before. "Do you want to know if I regret changing you?" I ask to be clear. She nods.
"Never," I answer softly but confidently, echoing her own response to the same question. I turn and hold her by the shoulders to make sure she is watching me so she has no reason to doubt the sincerity of my words.
"I love you, Bella Cullen. I love our life together. You have been a miracle for me. You have made the world new again."
I pause, nodding toward the Thames. "I have walked past this river forty-eight times in my long life, but tonight it feels like the first time. I get to explore the entire world anew with you by my side. That makes everything inexplicably exciting. You make this long dead heart of mine feel alive, and I am enjoying every moment of this second life with you." I end my speech with a soft but passionate kiss.
She pulls back. "I love you too Edward Cullen. I have loved you since I was seventeen, maybe even before. I have loved every minute of being with you. You make me a better person. I wouldn't change a thing about our lives."
I smile like the proverbial fool at her declaration, and laugh out loud with the joy overflowing in my heart. I put my arm around her and we continue our stroll, side-by-side; forever.
And it should be noted that means a forever of fellatio. I am indeed the luckiest being in the world.
E/N—I need to give out tons of shout outs and thank you's.
First, thank you to a very special reviewer that gave me the idea for the title of this epilogue. I can't find the review to give you proper credit, but you know who you are. Thank you!
Second, you guys know I have a great beta, Eviekinz. Sweetheart, smart, funny…the list goes on and on. Thank you for your help and your friendship. We will get to Disney one day girlfriend.
Next, Lemonmartinis. My confidant, sounding board, and good friend. Thanks for pre-reading and hitting me with the honesty. I will get you here to Florida one day too.
Sis from another miz? You know you are my girl! Thanks for the pre-reading and all of the girl days out. They get me through!
And finally but of course not least, thank you Sis. Thanks for sharing my genes and getting me through one of the most difficult periods of my life these past few months. Don't go skydiving without a great sis to have your back.